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Realms Unreel Kindle Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 356 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 697 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Temen Books; 1 edition (22 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00695MXXM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,051,359 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By John Tierney VINE VOICE on 29 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am utterly staggered at the number of 5 and 4 star reviews of this book on amazon.com. It is truly dreadful. A muddled tale of the alternet - the next enhancement of the internet - and alternative worlds and reality, the author seems to think that prose consisting of banal descriptions of technology is a good premise for a book. It's definitely not.

The story - such as it is - concerns Dom from some alternative universe who is seeking Ava, who appears to have been reincarnated as Emmie in the near future on earth. Somehow Dom can observe Emmie unseen and watches as Emmie is intimately involved in the evolution of the "alternet" - an internet which allows immersion for full-body experiences in virtual worlds. We watch as technology improves, but there is page after page of turgid description - sample text:"Emmie sent an entry request to the door. A second later, she received an identity verification request, which she promptly authoriszed." Characterisation is poor and there is almost no dramatic tension whatsoever. Murders and chases are leaden and uninteresting.

The only positive I took from this book as that the alternet description itself was believable and interesting and could be something like what we end up with in 20 or 30 years. But the way it is described makes it sound boring.

Avoid.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It did take me a little while to get into this book, but only because I was reading in pieces.. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and look forward to the next one.

The characters are well drawn and I found it easy to empathise with them. The scenario of it being the not so distant future works quite well too and once I wrapped my head around the idea of 3D immersive technology, I was fine.

I think I even spotted an oblique reference to a current on-line MMORPG..

Give it a go - I don't think you'll regret it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9643d894) out of 5 stars 47 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9660f42c) out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted and well-plotted 2 Feb. 2012
By dsethlewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Make no mistake; I think the book was great. Once I got through the first couple chapters of jerkiness that I expect from a debut author of any caliber, I was hooked. Auden hit her stride very quickly and this is a polished, clean cut, imaginative, and exciting work. The fast-paced plot, self-aware tone, and shameless virtual reality descriptions more than made up for the lacking character depth in the main characters. The main character had a virtually flawless childhood, and as a young adult she's unperturbed in everything she does. It makes it hard to relate and care for her. The other main character's slightly greater depth is largely attributable to his unrequited love, which is hardly an original concept nor is it explored from an original perspective. Nevertheless, the book is in no way disappointing and well worth the short of time you'll need to joyfully burn through it.

I realize the reference has already been made, but this book is clearly heavily influenced by Snow Crash by the duly glorified Neal Stephenson, and that's a good thing. We could use more books like Snow Crash and more authors developing the cyberpunk sci-fi crossed with fantasy crossed with ancient religions genre. And I say that with only the slightest hint of irony.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9758efd8) out of 5 stars Fun but profound! 24 Feb. 2012
By Bobby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"They have made a travesty of a great mystery, and in so doing even they have forgotten the truth. All who live possess eternal life, and few would trade it for an immortal body, if they truly understood what it is to be alive."

I really loved this book. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I knew the premise sounded really cool. If I'd started out with a better understanding of what this book was about, I might not even have read it and I would have missed out big time. Techie sci-fi stuff isn't really for me. I picked up reading as a hobby after far too much television. Cheesy sci-fi movies have forever ruined me to any futuristic fiction. I even had to suppress my distaste for it while reading Dune, which I also grew to love. Whenever the genre is even mentioned I have this awful vision of all-purpose rubber suits with gratuitous muscle-shaped ridges. Barf. However, Realms Unreel is set in the near future where technological advances are tame enough to believe that they might really exist in a decade or two, yet strange enough that even in parts where the plot moves forward slowly, I have fun just admiring the quirks of Auden's fictional (prophetic?) world.

Realms Unreel is an ambitious work. Auden covers a profoundly wide range of themes from Buddhism, to internet censorship, to religious extremism, to soul mates, to Adam and Eve. And in only about 350 pages she does this with smooth storytelling and prose that make this book fun and bizarre while the plot builds up, then exciting and immersing when it begins to unravel.

At first I couldn't help but feel that Auden had some influence from various manga. Something about the feel of the world she created and the social nuances--particularly between romantic interests--reminded me of some of my old favorite Japanese comics in a way that I could not quite pin down. A bit later on I had almost no doubt about this (Ahem... Amaterasu Nagato) which only enhanced my pleasure in reading. Something about the way background information is withheld from the reader and protagonist until it is need-to-know is reminiscent of well-done manga as well. I was excited to see these general atmospheres and plot devices successfully translated to a medium which I enjoy considerably more.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96e84c24) out of 5 stars beautiful and magical 11 Feb. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Realms Unreel" is a delightful blend of fantasy and near-future cyberpunk, with nicely realised characters and a very well-paced plot. The true highlight of the book, though, is the beautifully conceived vision of the evolution of the internet and virtual reality - well-trodden territory, to be sure, but Auden handles it with a confident, creative touch that makes the book a pleasure to read. Comparisons to "Snow Crash" are inevitable, but short of the mark - "Realms" shares the thrill of diving into the mind of a creative protagonist, and sharing the author's visions of virtual reality, but its heroine is a designer rather than a hacker, and that definitely changes the tone of the book. More than anything else, I was reminded of the first time I played Myst - Auden shares that vision of virtual realms that are above all beautiful (and mimetic), and whose functional and interactive aspects are fitted seamlessly into that beauty; a convergent but very different approach to the more raw-magic-of-hacking metaverses of Stephenson or Sterling.

The only weak note was the fantasy element - it rang a little hollow, and was not as immersive or well-crafted as the near-future strand. However, since the book spent very little time in that world, it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story at all - all in all, this is a solidly five-star read that anyone with an interest in virtual reality, gaming, cyberpunk or Silicon Valley culture is strongly recommended to check out.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96992168) out of 5 stars Lacks depth 23 Mar. 2012
By M. Clara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must admit I didn't get very far along into this book before I gave up on it. I'm an avid reader, always with a book in my hand or nearby. I found this book to lack depth, and with stilted dialogue and wooden characters. I tried to get into it, and picked it up several times only to find myself watching TV or surfing the internet instead. Finally, I picked it up and started in on what must have been the third or fourth chapter and I found myself saying aloud, "This is just boring." Life's too short to be spent on bad books, so i deleted it from my kindle.
HASH(0x96992108) out of 5 stars Not Snow Crash... but not too bad 27 Aug. 2012
By David R. Bosshard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I, too, found the advertising comparing this to Stephenson's Snow Crash to be tempting... and purchased the paperback edition. I wasn't disappointed in the book and I'll look forward to Book 2 - Bonds Endure, but it really didn't come very close to the wild roller coaster ride that Snow Crash was. Certainly an enjoyable read. Another reviewer remarked on the strange use of "OMG!" in the book and I have to agree - it was out of place and threw a large rock into the smooth flow of the generally well-written prose every time it popped up.
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